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X-COM: UFO Defense

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Craig Pearson)

Statistically speaking, you are probably not Ken Levine. That’s fine. I’m not him, either. And neither is Graham. But thanks to all the silicon and electricity and stuff, you can at least be a bit like him. One of the ways in which he’s been special recently is in the role of cheerleader for the Chaos Reborn Kickstarter, where he’s been championing Julian Gollop’s return. He has already played (or should that now be ‘Let’s Played’?) the hexy beast, and now you can too. Head here to grab the time-limited prototype of the strategic wiz thing, and bring some friends.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

13 days and $65,000 to go – that’s the scores on the doors for X-COM creator Julian Gollop’s Kickstarted Chaos remake (which I previewed here). Not a bad situation for the turn-based wizard battler to be in, given it’s already $115k to the good, but a photo finish looks likely. The game’s also up on Greenlight now, so you know what to do if you’re excited about it.

There’ve been eight updates since the project went live a few weeks back, and it’s heartening to see that they primarily focus on explaining features and concepts. Also one of them has a unicorn with a sword for a horn, so big bonus points for that. … [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Chaos Reborn is the next game from Julian Gollop, lead creator of the original X-COM: UFO Defense – the greatest videogame of all time. This is a remake of and sequel to Gollop’s earlier, magical duelling game Chaos: The Battle of Wizards. It It takes to Kickstarter today, but unlike other nostalgia-led projects, it’s been in active development for some time already. I played a prototype recently, and I have this to say about it. > … [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

it's not easy being green, and from 1992

Wowee, this is something I need to magic up a fortnight for. Since 2009, the OpenXcom project has been unhurriedly continuing in its quest to make the original X-COM more contemporaneous, – a standalone version that doesn’t require DOSBox, that makes the interface a little more modern, that offers more rule-tweaking for those that want it, that finally kills some of the bugs which have dogged the original for the past two decades, and even one that scales up to mega-resolutions impressively convincingly. As of the new version 0.9, it’s basically got everything working, and you basically get an in theory improved, but faithful, X-COM to play right now. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Next week, the missing sea monkeys of Terror From The Deep

I need to set aside a couple of hours to have a thorough read of Julian Gollop’s ongoing design plans for his Chaos remake – he’s sharing a remarkable amount on his Gollop Games blog. Today though, I take the easy route – monkey see previously unrevealed concept art for the original X-COM/UFO, monkey must post about it. Because said concept art features, as well as some very different looks for X-COM’s familiar rogues gallery (e.g. what I think might be an Ethereal design has big thighs) there are some never-before-seen additions. Including what appears to be a giant mutant rabbity thing. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

I say ‘vs’, but the reality of this meeting between the 20th and 21st century masters of X-COM is that they repeatedly seem on the verge of embracing each other, rather than trading blows in a bitter row about time units and action cameras. Rev3Games arranged for original X-COM co-creator Julian Gollop to meet Jake Solomon, the lead dev on Firaxis’ XCOM remake, the result being this rather delightful recording of their seventeen-minute exchange. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

In this concluding part (the first one is here), we discuss boardgame influences, commercial success, what XCOM might mean for the future of strategy, the need for realism within science-fiction, and why XCOM wound up rather buggy.> (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

'Tell us everything, mutie!'

With Firaxis’ de-hyphenated, largely very well-received remake of the legendary, incomparable, enormous-haircutted X-COM now out there saving the Earth from the worst scum of the universe for several months, now seems the time to sit down with its enthusiastic main man Jake Solomon. What went right, what went wrong and what comes next? As per recent tradition, we had a very long chat.

Covered in this first part – the base, the skills, the missing element of surprise and what they’ve learned if they ever do this again. Edited out to spare you the horror: his Punch & Judy-style impersonation of an Englishman.> (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

The Stunday Papers

Somehow, I wasn’t aware that there was an official novelisation of 1993 strategy/everything game X-COM until just last month. Given my decades-long fixation with X-COM, this was rather like discovering that there was a book about my mum that had passed me by completely.

Diane Duane’s slim text X-COM: UFO Defense – A Novel, published in 1996 by game guide firm Prima, has long been out of print (and never made it to e-print), so despite long scouring of fansites my only option was to explore the secondhand market, which in general wanted over £20 for this 250-page paperback. One joker’s even asking £500 for it. Fortunately, a lucky eBay bid got it to me for a mere £11, and so it is that I now own this fascinating oddity: a novelisation of a strategy game, written by an author with a long history of penning books based on existent sci-fi franchises. Could it truly recreate the tension and horror of X-COM? The thoughtful trauma of the minute-to-minute decisions and the long game of base-building and troop-nurturing? (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

The RPS reactions went as follows:

Alec: WoahAdam: Holy molyJim: Woah

Legendary developer Julian Gollop, best known as one half of the sibling-based team responsible for X-COM and Laser Squad, has just announced he’s making a brand new Chaos game. (more…)

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